WALNUT CREEK, CA – July 1, 2019 – Mechanics Bank announced today that it has received a rating of ‘Outstanding’ from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for the Bank’s most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination period of May, 2016 through April, 2019. The exam rating included Performance Test results of ‘Outstanding’ in the Investment and Service Test areas, and a rating of ‘High Satisfactory’ in the Lending Test category.
“I could not be more proud of our organization” said John DeCero, President and CEO of Mechanics Bank. “It is my understanding that very few banks nationwide receive such a lofty rating. We are a Community Bank and we have always taken our local commitment very seriously, it is just part of who we are. It is also nice to be recognized for all of the time and energy our employees invest in supporting and enhancing our communities. It is a great reflection of their efforts and we look forward to continuing to build on that success.”
The CRA exam evaluates the Bank’s ability to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which it operates and requires that each insured depository institution’s record in helping meet those needs be evaluated periodically. Mechanics Bank now enters a new three-year exam period, which concludes in the Spring of 2022.
CRA Performance Highlights and Activities
- Mechanics Bank made 67 Community Development loans totaling $176.9 million:
- Multi-family affordable housing lending in the San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento assessment areas
- Revolving lines of credit to a Community Development Financial Institution providing micro-loans in the San Francisco assessment area, and a non-profit health center that serves low to moderate-income farmworkers in Napa
- Small dollar loan products (as low as $500) to help low to moderate-income individuals break the costly cycle of payday lending
- Mechanics Bank made $122.4 million in Community Development Investments:
- 666 grants and donations for $2.1 million, given to nonprofit organizations supporting the communities where employees live and work.
- Mortgage-backed securities consisting of mortgages for low to moderate-income borrowers
- Disaster relief for wildfire victims totaling over $95,000
- 37 downpayment and closing cost loans in the amount of $538,000 for first-time homebuyers, which are forgivable after five years
- Investments in the form of Certificates of Deposits in minority owned financial institutions
- Equity Equivalent Investments (EQ2) in Community Development Financial Institutions that provide micro-loans to small and minority owned businesses, and to those that offer foreclosure prevention assistance
- Mechanics Bank is a leader in providing Community Development Services:
- Bank officers and staff provided 734 instances of financial expertise or technical assistance totaling 3,284 volunteer hours
- Through the Bank’s contract with EverFi, a financial literacy provider, we have provided six Title 1 schools located in Contra Costa County with 2,213 hours of financial literacy to 630 students. Twenty-eight adults have taken the financial literacy courses offered through the Bank’s website.
- Employees provided employment training and financial literacy for low to moderate-income individuals that included the homeless and those recently released from prison
- Bank employees provided training for youth seeking employment in the financial services industry
The full CRA Performance Evaluation is posted to the Bank’s public file located on the Mechanics Bank website.